Let me start by wishing you the happiest of holidays.

But let me continue by saying, if you’re not feeling quite as shiny as the tinsel on a tree, you’re not alone.

‘Tis the season when we expect our lives to be as merry and bright as everyone else’s family photos.

And as preposterously perfect as those “dear all” letters would have you believe.

But the truth is, with all the turmoil in the world at large and the shakiness in our own little snow globes, it just may not be our season to be jolly.

So,I say let’s give ourselves a break.

And be grateful instead.

Personally, I’m grateful (and relieved) to be feeling a sense of calm and relief this holiday season after dealing with the drama and trauma of a loved one’s addiction last year.

And to celebrate, here are a few gifts I’m giving myself this season. I’m more than happy to share them with you:

Permission To Be.

It’s hard feeling ho-hum when the whole world’s so ho-ho-ho.

But as human beings, we can’t just flick a switch and light up ourselves like the great big Christmas tree in Time Square.

So, the sooner we allow ourselves to feel what we’re feeling, the sooner those feelings of sadness, grief, worry, fear or whatever, can move through us.

Or as I like to say: “Acknowledging the ‘oy’ makes room for more joy.”

Breathing room.

Take a five-minute break from all the getting, giving and going to check in with yourself.

Just put your hand on your heart, take a few deep breaths into your hand, and ask “What do you need from me?”

The answer might be a walk in nature, a bubble bath or a few moments of therapeutic screaming.

When you give your heart what she needs and you’ll have more to give everyone else.

Speak your truth.

No one wants to be a major downer, especially this time of year.

But what if by sharing your truth, you gave someone else permission to share theirs?

Let’s say you’re at a party, mid-eggnog and someone asks, “How are you?”

Instead of faking it, what if you said something like, “To be honest, I get a little sad this time of the year. But I’m so happy to see you.”

You don’t have to go all Grinch on them.

But by sharing your truth, you just might have a moment of connection instead of the usual superficial banter.

Celebrate What Is.

We have a choice.

We can compare our lives with the pictures we have in our heads. (What we thought the holidays would be like. Or should be like. Or used to be like.)

Or we can re-train our brains to find the gift in how things are.

When that critical voice in your head starts yammering away about what went wrong in the past or could go wrong in the future, put it on mute.

And re-program your inner computer with these words:

“I am so blessed. I am so grateful.”

Show your true colors.

Even if you feel stuck in the muck this season, remember the dragonfly And that  when she’s crawling around the bottom of the pond, she’s actually growing her wings.

So, h onor your process. And know that even on the darkest days, the light is shining within you.

The more you open to the truth of who you are and honor how you feel, the more dazzling your colors will become.

Wishing you whatever kind of holiday you feel like having.

Well, I’m still not feeling jolly.

But I sure feel lighter having shared my truth with all of you. (Hint-hint.)

I hope you’ll share yours with all of us. (Just follow this link over to my blog where you’ll find a space to comment right under the post.)

Instead of ho-ho-ho-ing, I am hope-hope-hoping that this holiday season brings you love, peace and soaring dreams come true.

From bottom of my grateful heart,

xox Wendi